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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Ministers discuss creation of joint Euro-Mediterranean cultural strategy ]

Ministers discuss creation of joint Euro-Mediterranean cultural strategy


Ministers of Culture and civil society representatives from the 39 members of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership are meeting in Athens to exchange views on the cultural dimension of the partnership and to explore the substance and scope of a joint cultural strategy. According to a European Commission press release, they will discuss the political processes and mechanisms that will lead to the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Cultural Strategy.

The meeting is set within the context of the ''2008 European Year of Intercultural Dialogue'' and that of the “2008 Euro-Mediterranean year of dialogue between cultures”. It follows the recent policy recommendations by the Commission for the upgrading of relations with Mediterranean partners in its Communication ''Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean''.


Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero Waldner said ''the Barcelona Process is about being more than a political and economic partnership,'' adding that ''the social and cultural dimension helps put people at the centre of our relations.'' ''Increasing contacts between people of all walks of life in the Mediterranean is an important part of strengthening our ties through mutual understanding and wider knowledge of each other,'' she noted.


Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth Jan Figel said ''the Commission values greatly the contribution that culture and intercultural dialogue can make in efforts to bring peace, prosperity and stability to the region.''


''That is one of the reasons why we established the Anna Lindh Foundation. That is also why we have regional programmes on heritage, audiovisual, youth, information and media. This meeting of cultural ministers will now pave the way to a deepening of our relations, with plans for a joint cultural strategy that will have benefits for all in the partnership,'' he added.


The Athens conference will constitute an opportunity to further implement the strategic vision of the role of culture in external relations, as outlined in the May 2007 ''European agenda for culture'' proposed by the European Commission and subsequently endorsed by the Council.


The new strategy will be consistent with the principles of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression, and will strive to take the major concerns of the cultural sector in the region into account. During their meeting the Ministers will hear those concerns raised by representatives of civil society, and will give particular attention to capacity-building in partner countries and the establishment of more balanced cultural exchanges.




(Source: Financial Mirror)



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